Workload gap arrives at shipyard

Published 10:18 pm Monday, June 1, 2009

Bath Iron Works’ president is warning workers of layoffs because of a long-anticipated gap in work during the transition to the next-generation destroyer.

Despite efforts to minimize the problem, President Jeff Geiger told workers Monday the workload gap will lead to an undisclosed number of temporary job cuts over the next four to six months. The announcement coincided with word of the first 67 layoffs.

The shipyard’s 5,600 workers had long expected the gap, and Geiger says the shipyard is doing all it can to minimize the number of layoffs.

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There’s hope for stability down the road. Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon’s decision to build all three of the Navy’s Zumwalts in Bath assures work for “a considerable number of years.”